Global HR: the Business Partner and Specialist Matrix
Many global HR organizations have adopted the Ulrich model of specialists and HR business partners. In doing so they have introduced the complexities of matrix management into their HR organization, often without giving people the skills required to mange this form of working.
For specialists in the global HR organization there is still a strong functional reporting line but their internal customers the HR business partners are typically more numerous and demanding.
The HR business partners in the global HR organization are much more embedded in their client organizations. They sit on management teams and operational groups. They often support two or more organizations and find themselves stretched between the needs of their clients and the needs of the functional structure to drive HR projects and priorities.
Unfortunately each of these groups see their own objectives as most important and invite the HR business partner to their meetings and copy them on their emails. If a business partner explains that they do not need to be at every meeting this can be seen as a lack of loyalty.
(Read our 2005 article global division on how global HR people suffer divided loyalties more than other functions.)
These are some of the classic matrix challenges:
- divided loyalties
- competing (sometimes conflicting) priorities
- too connected to get things done
The traditional remedies of working harder, more teamwork and more communication are either impossible (not enough time) or don’t seem to work. (Ed: See our article Less haste, more speed on these themes.)
In a matrix organization the structure itself solves nothing. It is the way people work together to operate the structure that makes it succeed or fail.
Find out more about our matrix management training.
Educate yourself further with a few more or our online insights:
25 years of experience learning with a range of world class clients
We work with a wide range of clients from global multinationals to recent start-ups. Our audiences span all levels, from CEOs to operational teams around the world. Our tools and programs have been developed for diverse and demanding audiences.
Tailored training or off the shelf modules for your people development needs
We are deep content experts in remote, virtual and hybrid working, matrix management and agile & digital leadership. We are highly flexible in how we deliver our content and ideas. We can tailor content closely to your specific needs or deliver off the shelf bite sized modules based on our existing IP and 25 years of training experience.
For more about how we deliver our keynotes, workshops, live web seminars and online learning.